(Because nobody says Happy President's Day, or do they...?)
This week I finished playing through Puzzle Agent for iPhone.
What I liked:
The game has tons of charm! Funny dialogue...
In a lot of adventure / puzzle games, the hero talks to himself, to state observations (to YOU) about the things you click on. Puzzle Agent does something (I think) really clever instead. Whenever Agent Tethers is about to talk to himself, he pulls out his tape recorder, to "take notes". For example, "I see a screwdriver. It looks clean... seems to be of no consequence."
The game structure is very Professor Layton (great Nintendo DS puzzle game); Puzzle Agent does a great job poking fun at the Prof. Layton series. Agent Tethers sometimes shouts emphatically, "Another puzzle solved!" as Layton does after every puzzle. Puzzle Agent also makes light of Layton's often cheesy segues ("that reminds me of a puzzle...") with its own over the top scenarios, for example:
- Two guys in a diner need help boxing up their bug collection...
- Agent Tethers: "Why do you have bugs in a diner!?"
- Two guys: "Are you gonna help us out or what?"
- ...segue to bug sorting puzzle
What I didn't like:
I thoroughly enjoyed Puzzle Agent, beginning to end, but the ending almost killed the game for me. Without giving anything away (I can't really), the ending leaves a LOT of major plot points unresolved... and then the credits roll. The game easily could have taken this opportunity to provide extra puzzles and content, so interested players could tie up a few of the loose ends.
Admittedly, Telltale Games (makers of Puzzle Agent) are known for releasing 'episodes'. Puzzle Agent is priced like an episode. But I think the game should have been marketed as Puzzle Agent: Episode 1, and not just "Puzzle Agent".
Puzzle Agent 2 has just been announced. Again, this (in my opinion) should probably be marketed as Puzzle Agent: Episode 2, not a complete game in itself (assuming the sequel is as short as the first).
Should you buy it?
Absolutely, I really loved the game (I bought it for $1 on iPhone), but keep in mind that you're paying for a chapter in a larger story, not a complete game!